New Irish language and music competitions take the annual NYC event to new heights in 2019.  

April 14 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Big Apple Feis and Fleadh, an annual Manhattan celebration of Irish arts and culture, and one of the biggest celebrations of Irish dance, music, and culture in North America.

In addition to the popular Irish dance, visual art, and literary competitions, the Big Apple Feis and Fleadh will mark this important occasion by opening its doors to Irish language speakers for the very first time, inviting them to participate in a range of talent contests and community networking initiatives.

Also new to the line up are many opportunities for musicians with a passion for Irish music to display their talent, connect with those who share their interests, and bring home awards of their own.

Together, these two fresh components will further solidify the Big Apple Feis and Fleadh’s status as one of the most inclusive annual Irish cultural events in North America.

Read more: Are you searching for the "real" Ireland abroad?

Speaking about the history and promising future of the event, organizer Unateresa Gormley said: “We are making a bold statement to the world about Ireland’s rich cultural heritage. In the years to come, we will continue our mission to promote creativity, diversity, innovation, and excellence.”

Held in the beautiful Marriott Marquis Hotel in the center of Times Square, the Big Apple Feis and Fleadh will see Irish and Irish American individuals of every age gather to capture the attention of seasoned category judges. These will include Project Director of the Douglas Hyde Foundation, Cuan Ó Seireadáin; acclaimed Irish dance choreographer, Ronan McCormack; and renowned fashion designer, Jackie Kennedy Bohill.

Enter Gaelic Speaking, Gaelic Singing or Recite a Poem - Irish Dancing Magazine https://t.co/5WTMEycoJ1 @ManhattanGaels @ShannonGaelsNYC @NYIrishCenter @GaeilgeNYC @Aisling_Irish @SiobhanNiChi @FrancesMulraney @CnaG @RocklandGAA @newbelfast @FDNYEmerald @NYAOH1 pic.twitter.com/EnhNb23QBX

— Cumann Uí Chléirigh (@BrooklynGaelic) April 3, 2019

Scholarships will be awarded for outstanding individual and group efforts in select categories, including, for the first time, a scholarship to attend Teileann College, an Irish language summer camp in the Donegal Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region) this summer. This scholarship is being supported by the Douglas Hyde Foundation and the Big Apple Feis and will be presented to the best winner of the Gaelic Speaking, Gaelic Singing, or Poetry Recital competitions.

“The opportunity to spend a summer in the Donegal Gaeltacht learning Irish is fantastic,” says Cuan Ó Seireadáin. “The scenery and cultural richness of Teileann is unparalleled, the winner of the inaugural Douglas Hyde Foundation Gaeltacht scholarship is in for a treat!”

The Feis will also provide an opportunity for both start-ups and corporate businesses to promote their products as vendors.

Although only 10 years old, the Big Apple Feis had already helped to give a boost to some of the most talented practitioners of the Irish cultural arts. These include champion Irish dancer Owen Luebbers, who has since gone on to wow Irish dance fans on Youtube and to appear on “America’s Got Talent.”

The deadline for all Big Apple Feis and Fleadh competition entries is April 6. Further details of all competition categories and vendor spots can be found at http://www.bigapplefeis.com

You can find more information on the Douglas Hyde Foundation here. 

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Teelin Bay in Co Donegal. Getty